Update: Wells Fargo & Co. doubled down on its gun industry business in late September 2018, issuing a $40 million line of credit to gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. Nun Nora Nash with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said, “This is shocking news because we are in sustained dialogue with Wells Fargo. This new business relationship with Sturm Ruger is in direct conflict with ethics, culture and respect for human rights throughout the company.” The IFCCR has been activating shareholders in gun companies and banks to make them better corporate citizens on gun violence prevention. Excusing its new business with Sturm Ruger, the bank said, “Wells Fargo wants schools and communities to be safe from gun violence, but changes to laws and regulations should be determined through a legislative process that gives the American public an opportunity to participate and not be arbitrarily set by a bank.”
Wells Fargo, the international banking and financial services holding company headquartered in San Francisco, is the premier financier of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry. While Americans have been dying and suffering en masse because of the lobbying of the NRA (and the gun industry’s trade group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation), Wells Fargo executives have gotten filthy rich backing Wayne LaPierre & Co.
After the Sandy Hook massacre, Wells Fargo created a $28 million line of credit for the NRA. They also operate the organization’s primary accounts. The variable-rate loan to the NRA carries an interest rate of 6.08%, higher than typical commercial mortgage rates. Wells Fargo is making an estimated $1.2 million annually from it.
Furthermore, Wells Fargo has made $431 million in loans and bonds available to American Outdoor Brands (the parent company of Smith & Wesson) and Vista Outdoor (which owns several manufacturers of guns & ammo, including Savage Arms).
Wells Fargo has no legitimate excuse for these relationships and has tried to pass the buck to others: “Any solutions on how to address this [gun violence] epidemic will be complicated,” the bank said in a statement. “This is why our company believes the best way to make progress on these issues is through the political and legislative process.”
That’s not going to cut it. Please contact Wells Fargo through one of the channels below and give them the following message (personalized to your liking):
I can’t tell you how angry I was to learn that Wells Fargo is continuing to bankroll the National Rifle Association and two major gun companies: American Outdoor Brands/Smith & Wesson and Vista Outdoor. I read your statement “explaining” this and was disgusted. What happened to your 2017 aspirational goal of becoming the financial services leader in “corporate citizenship”? You’ve abandoned that mantle in cowardly fashion, and instead passed the buck to others. It’s not good enough. I am contacting you today to make the following two demands of Wells Fargo: 1) Announce that you will not renew the $28 million line of credit you have extended to the NRA when it expires in October 2019, and; 2) Stop providing bank loans or underwriting financing arrangements for companies in the firearms and ammunition industry that manufacture (or distribute) semiautomatic weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines for civilian use. If you do not take these steps immediately, I will stop using all Wells Fargo services and make it my life mission to get family and friends to do the same.
Phone: (202) 303-2966
Once you have contacted Wells Fargo, click the orange banner below to report taking action!